Pussy Riot Members Released Early From Prison

(Radio.com) The two jailed members of Pussy Riot, Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and Maria Alyokhina, were released yesterday (Dec. 23) under a new amnesty law in Russia.

The two women, who were found guilty of "hooliganism motivated by religious hatred" in 2012 after performing an anti-Putin "punk prayer" in Moscow's Christ the Saviour Cathedral, were serving a two-year sentence, which was set to end in February.

Russian parliament passed the amnesty bill last week, allowing thousands of inmates to go free, including 30 people who were arrested during a Greenpeace protest against arctic drilling. Part of the reason the Pussy Riot rockers qualified for amnesty was because they have small children. But Russian President Vladimir Putin, however, says the amnesty was not passed with Pussy Riot or Greenpeace in mind, but to commemorate the 20th anniversary Russia's post-Soviet constitution.

After being set free from a prison in the western city of Nizhny Novgorod this morning, Alyokhina spoke with the New York Times about the early release, explaining that she did not want amnesty and felt the program was designed to make President Putin look good.

"I think this is an attempt to improve the image of the current government, a little, before the Sochi Olympics—particularly for the Western Europeans," she told the paper. "But I don't consider this humane or merciful. This is a lie. We didn't ask for any pardon. I would have sat here until the end of my sentence because I don't need mercy from Putin." more on this story

Radio.com is an official news provider for antiMusic.com.
Copyright Radio.com/CBS Local - Excerpted here with permission.

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